News Letter August to October 2019





October 2019

Lilit Martiorsyan participated in

ILGA-Europe annual conference

From 23rd to 26th of October, 2019 the annual conference of ILGA-

Europe (the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay,

Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) which was attended by

Lilit Martirosyan, the Founding President of the Right Side Human

Rights Defender NGO was held in Prague, Czech Republic.

During the workshop Lilit Martirosyan participated in several

meetings and discussions on the situation of the LGBTI community

in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

Mrs Martirosyan and several other speakers held a discussion on

the safety of human rights defenders. During the discussion a

video of Lilit Martirosyan’s speech at the RA National Assembly

was shown, which received a great response. The participants

were particularly interested in the response of the state bodies to

the situation and Lilit Martirosyan’s security. Lilit said that after her

speech at the National Assembly, as a result of protests by ethnic

groups and other transphobe groups, hate speech and threats of

death on the online platform, she was forced to leave the country

temporarily with her family members and staff. Afterwards, the

participants expressed their gratitude to Lilit Martirosyan for her

tremendous work and encouraged her to continue her work and

not to bow to any obstacle.

Lilit shared with the experience of Right Side NGO on how to

mobilize human, technical and financial resources to ensure the

safety of the NGO and human rights defenders. She emphasized

the importance of having security policies in order to reduce the

risks and dangers arising from the activities of human rights

defenders. Another meeting was devoted to the discussion of

reporting hate speech and violence, methods of case collection

and monitoring against the LGBTI community during which it was

enhanced Eastern European and Central Asian civil society’s

experience of reducing hatred towards the LGBTI community,

including the formation of community and cross-sectorial

partnerships. This discussion will also have a positive impact on

the development of regional initiatives (“Trans Murder

Monitoring”, “ProTrans”, “UNIFORM”, “Call It Hate”).

Lilit Martirosyan has returned from the ILGA-Europe annual

conference with new ideas and new acquaintances that are

crucial to the operation of the Right Side NGO and the further

development of transgender community advocacy in Armenia.

Workshop on campaigning for activists

On October 4-6, 2019, a workshop on “How to run Cultural and Human

Rights Campaigns” organized by the “Right Side” human rights

defender NGO. the workshop was funded by the Canadian Foundation

for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

The workshop was organized for all the volunteer activists who were

willing to support organisation of cultural and human rights events for


On the first working day, participants got to know each other, shared

ideas, expectations, and fears. NGO President Lilit Martirosyan

presented the topics and activities for the next three days and wished

the participants an effective working day. The facilitators explained

the importance of organizing campaigns, as well as the importance of

teamwork in terms of community-individual interdependence, the role

of the state, and types of governance. A team of planned campaigns

was formed by the participants. All participants were enthusiastic

about the work and discussions.

On the second working day, participants were divided into

workgroups, discussed how to engage artists, entrepreneurs and

politicians into activities for equality and cultural diversity. They

identified key targets and audiences they would like to work with at

upcoming events and engage them in NGO work. Emphasizing social

media as a key information tool for equality campaigning, the invited

expert detailed the methods of managing social networks and how to

accurately analyze social media statistics to make campaigns more

targeted. Then, as a result of group discussion, the participants

presented a content plan for social media campaigns.

On the last day of the workshop, participants and trainers discussed

how to utilize the resources available and the role of the stakeholder

to make the work more effective. The workshop continued with

various discussions, with analyzing the strengths and weaknesses,

opportunities and risks of organizing campaigns. For better

understanding participants did SWOT and PEST analysis.

At the end of the workshop, NGO President Lilit Martirosyan thanked

the participants for providing their time and resources and then the

participants were given participation certificates.

The Right Side NGO team expresses its gratitude to the supporters

and participants of the workshop and hopes that such events will be

continuous and that the participants will be actively involved in the

Right Side NGO’s work in future.

RA MoJ meeting on Human rights strategy

On September 13 and 18, 2009, Right Side Human Rights defender

NGO President Lilit Martirosyan and Programs officer A.

Gevorgyan participated in a meeting dedicated to the national

human rights protection strategy organized by the RA Ministry of

Justice.The first day’s discussion was aimed at analyzing the

situation in the field of equality, protecting the rights of vulnerable

groups (children’s rights, women’s rights, the rights of persons

with disabilities, etc.) and mapping the key issues.

The second day’s discussion focused on the analysis of the

situation in the areas of social, educational, labor rights,

healthcare, environmental protection etc.

During the first and second days, Lilit Martirosyan and A.

Gevorgyan presented the problems of transgender people in

various fields, in particular in the field of education, health care,

social protection and others.

Right Side Human Rights defender NGO expresses its gratitude to

the Ministry of Justice for organizing such meetings and making

the voice of civil society representatives heard.


The #ONLYLOVE campaign is designed to

illustrate the thoughts or activities of

Armenian cultural figures who showcase their

queerness in their art in all its beauty.

"The artist is the singer of life ...

And life denies evil. It is the

artist's duty - to preach love for

nature, HUMAN and work."

Martiros Saryan

...Now, listen, I begin my intimate

poem infinite, sinful, and


Eghishe Charents

Transgender woman’s lawyer on

judicial impediments

After the speech of the transgender woman in the RA National

Assembly on April 5, 2019, we did not wait long for the public, as

predicted it was mostly negative, but there were cases when the

audacity of some representatives of the society exceeded all

predictable and unpredictable limits.

Lilit Martirosyan, the president of Right Side NGO applied to law

enforcement bodies several times to be protected from threats and

harassment and to prevent the disclosure of her personal information.

We talked to lawyer Arthur Margaryan about these and other legal

cases. Arthur Margaryan is representing Lilit Martirosyan in a number of

court cases.


-Mr. Margaryan, could you please say whether there were any threats

reported to the police after Lilit Martirosyan’s speech in the Parliament

and if so, how many reports have been submitted and in what stage are

they today?

-Yes, after Lilit Martirosyan’s NA speech there was definitely a need to

worry about her physical and psychological well being and safety, and

that is why Lilit Martirosyan filed a police report on the threats. The

police declined the initiation of a criminal case, mentioning the threats

were not real. According to the Police, people expressed the people’s

free opinion and resentment. We are currently in the court appealing

the rejection of the criminal criminal case.

In the framework of the same criminal case, when the supermarket

dispatcher publicized Lilit Martirosyan’s address, the investigating body

and the police decided that it is an open information that could be easily

accessed by any citizen who would visit the website and

check Lilit Martirosyan’s address, but did not note that Lilit

Martirosyan’s registration address is posted on the site, and no actual

residence address has been posted anywhere, which means that it

could not be viewed as public information.

There is another case about insult in the Yerevan City Court of General

Jurisdiction for insulti, when once again the website called

Lilit Martirosyan was “perverted” after her speech, a civil case was filed

for public apology with a claim for compensation.

-Mr. Margaryan, what kind of obstacles you face, while representing

Trans or LGB persons rights?

– The main obstacles arise with the police and investigative authorities

when they refuse to pursue or delay the process even if there is

sufficient evidence and obvious crime, based on the SOGIE of the


-Have you ever experienced or faced any obstacles with the court ?

-No. The court usually moves in its normal course of action if the case

is in the court already. Still with the main obstacles arising from the

investigation stage: the police and the investigative body.

We conclude from a conversation with a lawyer, despite the fact that a

number of NGOs and public institutions in Armenia are fighting for

democratic society and universal equality in Armenia, the relevant

authorities and law enforcement bodies do not have sufficient political

will to properly address LGBT issues and act in line with it.

New details of a transgender man trial

K.A. has applied to the CSAR Agency of RA Ministry of Justice to

change the gender note in the registration act from female to male.

Under the current legislation of the RA, the CSARA body compels a

person to undergo sex reassignment surgery, and only in that case

it is considered possible to register a sex change, which is not in

accordance with Article 3 of the RA Constitution, according to

which a person is of the highest value.

The inalienable dignity of man is the indissoluble foundation of his

rights and freedoms. It also compels a person to undergo

irreversible surgical intervention, which is also prohibited by the RA

legislation and recorded in a number of judgments of the European

Court. Also, according to the Article 85 of the RA Constitution,

everyone has the right to health in accordance with the law. Article

8 of the RA Law on “Medical Care and Services of the Population”

stipulates that a person’s consent is a necessary condition for a

medical intervention, except the cases provided by this Law. That

is, in this case, compelling a person to medical intervention to make

a correction in the CSARA is an interference with a person’s

personal life, their physical and spiritual security and immunity.

In such circumstances, we filed a lawsuit with to Administrative

Court against the requirement to enforce a favorable administrative

act of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, namely, to

register a legal sex change without submitting a confirmation about

Gender reassignment surgery. The first court hearing was

scheduled in October, 2019, however, it was postponed because the

Court requested to adduce the European Court’s judgment cited in

the request in the Armenian language.

Details of Transgender Women Trial

In September 2018, a group of transgender women who needed

legal assistance applied to the Right Side Human Rights

Defender NGO. The transgender women were banned from

attending a sports club, they were mocked and humiliated on

the grounds of their gender identity and gender expression.

The Right Side NGO Lawyer provided his support and he helped

them to apply to the court with a demand for the recognition

of the violation of rights on the basis of discrimination.

Thus, a lawsuit has been filed in court against the sports club

with a demand to recognize the violation of M.S., N.A. and M.E.

rights and discriminatory attitudes towards them.The first

hearing was scheduled on October 1, 2019, but because of the

lack of notification of the respondent, the hearing was

postponed and a new hearing has been scheduled on October

18, 2019.

Lilit Martirosyan demands public apology

On 5th of April 2019, for the first time in the Armenian history, a

transgender woman spoke from the RA Parliament.

This was a precedent in the Armenian history and certainly, it could not

remain without any feedback.

The public response was very different and massive. There were a lot of

derogatory comments and statements addressed to Lilit Martirosyan,

who is the President of the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO, the

first Trans person in the Armenian history to have enough courage to be

engaged in human rights activism by raising trans issues.

After her speech in the Parliament thousands of insulting statements

were addressed towards Lilit Martirosyan, she was threatened to be

tortured and killed, her personal information including her home

address were found out and published, she and the other members of

the Right Side NGO were prosecuted and subjected to different criminal

activities on the basis of hatred and discrimination.

One of such cases was the post on, where Lilit Martirosyan

was called “perverted”, but this time she decided not to neglect this

step and in May 2019 she filed a lawsuit seeking a public apology and

claiming for compensation.The court decided to distribute the burden of

proof on the parties. Thus, the parties have time till November 1, 2019 to

find sufficient evidence. The hearing is scheduled for November 5 of this


Public Report on Violations to the

Prosecutor General’s Office of the RA

We are informed from the article: “The 14 transgenders from Cuba

are infected with AIDS, – states Malyan. What does the Migration

Service say?” published on on October 14, 2019, at

15:57, that Narek Malyan, the initiator of the “VETO” movement

assures that his information on transgender people in Armenia is


Narek Malyan has written on his Facebook page that “14 (edit.

items) transgenders from Cuba are infected with AIDS. This

information is received from official sources, you can share it.

There are 16 (edit. items) in total, and 14 of them are infected with

AIDS. By the way, one of them was working at a bakery.”

As a result of the examination of Mr. Malyan’s social website, the

”Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO has concluded that

according to several articles of the RA Criminal Code, his

statements contain crime, in particular:

claiming that the information is from official sources, it can be

concluded that if 14 transgenders from Cuba are HIV-infected, then

the mentioned information has been obtained either through

persons providing medical care and services or other illegal


According to Article 145 of the Criminal Code of the RA: “Divulging

medical secrets”:

Divulging information on the patient’s illness or the results of

medical tests, by the medical personnel, without professional or

official need, is punished with a fine in the amount of 200 to 500, or

by deprivation of the right to hold certain posts or practice certain

activities from 2 to 5 years, or with arrest for the term of 1 to 2


According to Article 144 of the Criminal Code of the RA:

“Illegal collecting, keeping, use and dissemination of information

pertaining to personal or family life”:

Information which is considered to be a personal or family secret

used without one’s consent or dissemination by public speeches,

publicly demonstrated works or through mass media, or collecting

or keeping, unless this is envisaged by law, is punished with a fine

in the amount of 200 to 500 minimal salaries, or correctional labor

for up to 1 year, or with arrest for the term of 1 to 2 months.

Mr. Malyan, materializing transgender persons seeking asylum, he

has used the word “item” by speaking about them, in which case it

can be concluded that Mr. Malyan has a humiliating approach

towards certain groups of people due to their sex, national or

ethnic origin, alleged gender identity, alleged HIV status, or being

alleged sex worker or other social circumstances.

Taking into account Article 226 of the Criminal Code of the RA:

“Inciting national, racial or religious hatred”:

1) Actions aimed at the incitement of national, racial or religious

hatred, at racial superiority or humiliation of national dignity, are

punished with a fine in the amount of 200 to 500 minimal salaries,

or with correctional labor for up to 2 years, or with imprisonment

for the term of 2-4 years.

2) The actions envisaged in part 1 of this Article committed

publicly or by mass media are punished with imprisonment for the

term of 3 to 6 years.

Acknowledging Article 3 of the RA Constitution:

1)The human being shall be the highest value in the Republic of

Armenia. The inalienable dignity of the human being shall

constitute the integral basis of his or her rights and freedoms.

2) The respect for and protection of the basic rights and freedoms

of the human being and the citizen shall be the duty of the public


Affirming that according to Article 143 of the Criminal Code of the

RA, direct or indirect breach of the human rights and freedoms of

citizens, for reasons of the citizen’s nationality, race, sex,

language, religion, political or other views, social origin, property

or other statuses, which damaged the citizen’s legal interests, is

punished with a fine in the amount of 200 to 400 minimal salaries,

or with imprisonment for up to 2 years.

Based on the reasons for initiating a criminal case under Article

176 of the Criminal Code of the RA:

1) physical and legal entities reports on the crimes addressed to

the body of inquiry, investigator, prosecutor;

2) media reports about crimes.

Presenting the aforementioned facts, the “Right Side” Human

Rights Defender NGO submits a public report on the crime to the

RA Prosecutor General asking to check Narek Malyan’s publication

in connection with the alleged crimes.

The “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO sends the copy of

the report to the Human Rights Defender’s Office of Armenia to

oversee the equity, legality, impartiality of the criminal

proceedings on the basis of this report and to exclude possible

discrimination against transgender people seeking asylum.

In August to October, 2019 Right Side

Human Rights Defender NGO had 258


70 participants in community events

195 office visitors

12 beneficiaries received HIV prevention


18 participants in outgoing events

11 beneficiaries get tested for HIV

15 beneficiaries received legal


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